Lamy Multi-Pen Review

overall1I don’t think anyone sits down for a letter writing session and specifically reaches for a multi-pen. I don’t, but I can’t fault the convenience at work or on the go if you do a lot of markup or colored ink work. I owned a multi-pen when I was a young boy and still a closet stationery geek. It was the venerable Bic 4 Color Retractable.
bic
I loved that pen and guarded it with my life by only taking it out to show my buddies or for writing something special. Oh the horror if it were to run out of ink, I had no clue that I could actually buy a refill. Truth be known it probably dried up by NOT writing with it. That was 40+ years ago and they still sell it. In later years my standards for the writing experience has elevated somewhat and given the choice, a 4 color ballpoint is not my preferred. I own one other multi-pen.

AcroballA Pilot Acroball and for its intended use it’s not a bad pen. Good action and full size refills that right ok.
Now if there is a category for classy upscale multi-pens, I now own it. A Black Lamy 2000 Multifunction Pen. The Lamy 2000 line is nearly iconic in its stature as a fountain pen. The shape and design have been around unchanged for a long long time. It’s aesthetic just works and the Makrolon material is unique while being a comfortable material to handle, hold and write with. The brushed stainless steel trim gives a nice contrasting look against the black body.
overall1THE PEN:

    • 21.7 Grams
    • 7/16” Diameter
    • Length: 5 ½”
    • Brushed Makrolon resin barrel
    • Brushed stainless steel head and knock
    • Red, Black, Blue and Green D1 refills included
    • Street Price: $50

PACKAGING

Packaging is good for this price range, not much to review. If you’re a tosser not much to change your mind on this one.

packaging1packaging2CONSTRUCTION FIT AND FINISH

Lamy’s build quality, fit and finish is known to be a consistent high quality. This one is no different, minus the clip, but more on that later. The Makrolon material is smooth with no burrs or rough areas The joint of the section and body is nearly invisible as you can see, or not see, below. Threads are smooth and start easy every time.

Section GapMakrolonREFILLS

Some multi-pens take proprietary refills. That can be good or bad. Usually that means more expensive and limited selection of color and point sizes. My Acroball takes proprietary refills and they write fairly well for a ballpoint but when they run out I would not have any extras laying around, and I’m a pen guy with way too many refills laying around. The Lamy takes the universal D1 size that are available in 80+ variations at my last count. In the Lamy you can mix and match the refills to your preference though the pen twist mechanism will always reference only blue, red and green.

RefillsTHE CLIP

clip1The clip is standard Lamy fare. Its thick shape lends itself positively to the overall aesthetics of the pen. The LAMY name is printed on the side discretely and doesn’t get in the way of the other iconic design elements of the pen showing off the great design. The clip is thick and has a good springiness for performing its main duty, namely holding it in one’s pocket or clipped to a notebook or pad. My particular example had a loose clip and my small amount of tinkering to take the pen apart did not yield any wisdom on how to tighten it up. It doesn’t affect the use of the clip or the pen at all but I found this minor defect unusual based on all the Lamy pens I have owned. I’m sure if I send it in Lamy they would make good on it.

IN USE:

Lamy has figured out how to fit 4 pens in a barrel the same size as the fountain pen. That’s a good thing as it’s comfortable to hold, incredibly lightweight and a pleasant shape proven over many years. I own a Lamy 2000 fountain pen and besides being heavier I can barely tell the difference. Deploying the writing tip of the pen is a normal pushbutton knock. To get the color you desire is a gravity exercise. Near the tail end of the pen is a 3 color ring.

Colorband1 A portion of the ring is colored in blue, red and green. Holding the pen horizontal and facing the color you want on the section up to towards the ceiling you depress the knock and you get the color facing up. You face the clip up to get black. It works ok most of the time. I am not an engineer and looking at the pen, after taking it apart, I don’t know how to do it better but to me it’s just not smooth. I think I understand what contortion each tip has to perform when you push the knock down but however clever the gravity selector is I wish for something a little smoother. That being noted I would not trade off pen thickness or weight for that smoothness so my expectation are probably unreasonable. It works, it works every time and the right color comes out of the tip so there is a fair amount of good design and technical engineering invested.

tip sticking outCONCLUSION

Thanks to The Pen Company for sending this pen over. Lamy has done a great job creating an affordable but higher end multi pen for those that have the need and enjoy the convenience of four colors in a single body. If your use is utilitarian with a pen body that looks good in a boardroom or with a client you need to impress and maybe you need it tough enough to be thrown around in a purse, pocket or EDC bag. The Lamy is probably a great choice for you.

Do deploy a multi-pen regularly?

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Two New Kaweco Colors

bothnewI have written many words on the joy of owning and using the Kaweco SPORT line of pens. Recently Kaweco came out with two new colors in their SPORT Fountain Pen series. First is a Red Classic series that Kaweco calls, well, just Red. I like the hue, it’s a bold fire engine red with maybe a touch of orange but it’s an unmistakable red. The red is a nice contrast to it’s gold colored stainless nib.


The second new color is in their Skyline series called Macchiato and looking at the pen I can see the resemblance to a favorite coffee blend. Maybe vanilla with a hint of brownish yellow. Attractive without being flashy. On the Macchiato they chose polished stainless steel finish.

red newmacciato newInside mechanicals and writing experience are same as I reviewed here on the aluminum bodied stonewash version. These two new colors are in the all plastic line. Both come with Kaweco’s very good medium stainless steel nib.

  • Stainless Steel Iridium Tip Medium Nib
  • Street Price: $27.00
  • 4.15” capped
  • 4” uncapped
  • 5.25” Posted
  • 10.6 grams with ink cartridge

If you’re a colors collector you’ll want to add these two attractive additions.

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A Few Minutes with Kaweco’s Sebastian Gutberlet

One of the great aspects of this stationery hobby is meeting people from all over the world. Most of these relationships start online and many can flourish in person. I am not a big traveler so I’m a little surprised sometimes when someone from another country finds my little spot on the internet here at MPNI. One such relationship I have enjoyed is with Kaweco Pen’s Sebastian Gutberlet. Sebastian and team have been great supporters of My Pen Needs Ink and of course they put out some great products in the industry. Probably most known for their SPORT line of pens. Recently Sebastian was kind enough to give us a little more insight into his role as a valuable contributor to the pen community. I hope you  will sit back, refill your beverage of choice and enjoy this short journey to getting to know Sebastian a little better.

MPNI: Tell us a little about the Kaweco team that many of us know through the online communities. We know you, Michael and Ingrid so tell us a little about your roles and how is the company structured?

SG: My father Michael, the CEO, Ingrid and I are only a small part of the Kaweco Team. In the office we have 7 people. In the production area we have around 20 people depending on the order volume. I am responsible for Marketing and Sales. Ingrid is one of our sales ladies and mostly takes care of our orders. Additionally she is our treasury secretary. We see the Kaweco company really as a team. Most decisions are made in the weekly team meeting via poll.

MPNI: Tell us about the history. We know some of your pen designs have been around since the 1930’s. When did Kaweco start?

SG: Kaweco started already in 1883 as the “Heidelberger dip pen factory”. About ten years later a of couple gentlemen named Koch and Weber bought the company. That was when the name Kaweco was born. The first two letters of the owners’ names and the addition company formed the “Kaweco” name. Normally it would be “Koweco” but they decided that Kaweco sounded better.

MPNI: When did you know you had a successful pen business on your hands?

SG: I was not in the company yet ( I was 9 ) when my father started to revive Kaweco in 1992. Kaweco had not been producing anything for 10 years in 1992. It was not the main business at that time. Gutberlet was selling pen parts and cosmetics for other brands. This business was really good so it was just for fun for my father because he was, and still is, a pen collector. Not only for Kaweco but also for all pen brands. Kaweco was growing step by step and my father says he realized that he had found a treasure when he made a lecture about luxury brand strategy at Staedtler a short time before they launched their premium line. He realized while preparing the lecture that the Kaweco Sport Design is outstanding like the Coca Cola bottle and the Porsche 911.

MPNI: You’re quite active, and very supportive, of the pen community. I treasure your sponsorship of MPNI. How has social media moved you or changed you as a company?

SG: The margin in the pen business is not as high as other branches. We can not compete with the marketing power of a fashion or cosmetic brand for example. Additionally we are a very small company, even in the pen business. The idea to support the bloggers and even to make our own facebook page was very late compared with other brands. There were a lot of people writing about Kaweco before and writing that they liked our products so much. When we realized that this effects our sales in a positive way we decided to do more in that direction. So far this year we have also created an Instagram account and Twitter in addition to the Facebook account. At that point I want to also say “THANK YOU” to all the bloggers and press people who support Kaweco and all the people which take their time to write about the brand.

MPNI: I’m seeing some activity with your new site, http://mostwanted-pens.com. Can you tell us about your plans and goals for that venture?

SG: The website has been online since January. There are several reasons why I founded the company. The first is that there was no retailer worldwide which sells really the complete program including all accessories and gadgets. Also the nib selection is very good. The customer can choose which nib he wants and doesn’t have to buy a pen with a steel nib and then pay extra to add a carbon black nib for example.

Another reason is that I also wanted to create something of my own. My grandfather founded the Gutberlet GmbH, my father revived Kaweco and I have now started mostwanted35 with the first step http://mostwanted-pens.com. So I follow the family tradition to create something I own and new. I want to connect all the cool brands ( not only pens ) that I know and like in one shop. This will be the mostwanted35. The first mortar and brick store will follow soon.

The third reason is that I am tired of the marketing of many brands and trade companies. Just following the quick money and not thinking in long term. For example my mobile phone contract was running for 7 years and I always paid the full old price. When I realized, I called them and said that I am a long term, loyal customer and I want a better rate. What the salesman said shocked me. He said that I have to quit the contract and to make a new one because new customers get a better rate. So I decided that I want to found a company that rewards loyal customers in the long run. So I built the Customer VIP Level. With every purchase you get a new level or you come closer to the next. For every reached level you achieve 1% discount on the complete order.

MPNI: Do you have any ideas or suggestions on how the pen community can get behind Kaweco and mostwanted-pens, besides the obvious of buying your pens!

SG: To know more about Kaweco and what’s behind us you should follow us on facebook. On the website you can also find our history. We are also working on a new history CD with better design and more information. There will be videos, pictures and so on. For mostwanted35 and mostwanted-pens there will be the first newsletter in August. We will change our shop system to a full responsive design system which is much better to inform and shop on a mobile.

MPNI: Your Classic line of pens is almost universally praised as a standard bearing pocket pen. Where does your design and engineering ideas come from?

SG: My father has a very big collection of old pens because he is a collector. We have so much inspiration there. Also we try to keep the DNA of Kaweco. Of course we have also our own ideas. I tell my father I have an idea for a design of a pen and his answer is: That’s not new, look here, Kaweco did this already in 1933. It is really hard to find something really new, which nobody has ever done. But sometimes we do it. For example with the Kaweco SUPRA. Nobody did this before or we could not find a pen with a part to unscrew and make it shorter.

MPNI: Any good insider info on what we should be on the lookout for from Kaweco coming up. Of course I would love to scoop it here on MPNI.

SG: For Kaweco there are so many ideas we have. Some retailers told me that we bring too many novelties throughout the year. And I tell them that we bring to market only half of the ideas we had because then it would be too much. This year we have already introduced: ICE Sport Black, CLASSIC Sport Red, The SUPRA, SKETCH UP Brilliant and Black, STUDENT Transparent, SPECIAL Dip pen, Mini Converter, Denim Pouches, SKETCHBOOK, German Shepard pen holder and a lot of POS Material.

Some other things coming for sure this year: Rhodium plated gold nibs, Bi-Color gold nibs in all nib sizes, SKYLINE Sport Macciato, AL Sport light blue, AC Sport Racing Orange and racing green, Orange ink and Grey ink.

At mostwanted-pens.com will be an exclusive AL Sport edition in addition to the Exclusive colors of LILIPUT which are already available. But that will be a surprise with the launch of the new shop system.

MPNI: What does Sebastian like to do when you’re not selling pens?

SG: I am producing them! In addition to pens I try to spend as much time as possible with my 2 year old son Antoine Gutberlet. He is the best thing I have ever created. He has already started drawing, so he is already into pens, too.

Big thanks to Sebastian for spending the time with us. I know many of us look forward to great new things from him and the team at Kaweco for the second half of 2016. Plus when you’re finished here go checkout , http://mostwanted-pens.com

 

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Letter Writing in Modern Civilization

IMG_0696I’m a big fan of combining my love for pens and stationery with the joy of writing letters.  I recently ran across the podcast from the great blog The Art of Manliness.  In their podcast episode 218 they are talking about the values of a handwritten letter, both for the sender and the receiver.  I thought it was a good clip and gave me a little extra boost of motivation to set aside the time this week to send out a few from my snail mail box. The whole podcast was good but you can fast forward to about the 24:10 minute mark for the letter writing piece.  Hope you enjoy.

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Galen Leather Moleskine Cover

Overall FrontI have never traveled outside the United States. My leisure time and resources available usually keeps my travel focused on many places in the US that I still want to visit. I know that limits my outlook and experiences and nothing proves that more than the pen hobby that many of us share. Such an international scope of enthusiasts of all things writing related. Recently a brother and sister team of leather artisans that make beautifully products under the Galen Leather name contacted me from Turkey. I was elated they found my little spot on the internet.

I became a fortunate recipient of their recent marketing blitz to promote their products that they have marketed through various outlets for several years. I have one of their Large Moleskine Covers that I would probably call a notebook cover as it works with any A5 5×8’ish notebooks that I tried.

  • Made from veg tanned bridle leather
  • Available in 13 colors, yes one three!
  • Overall Size is 6.7 x 9.1 inches and more on that later
  • $65.00

Packaging

Galen Leather went an extra mile on the packaging. They subscribe to giving the customer a wow moment as you open up any of their products. Gifting of a Galen Leather product would be a great experience for the receiver and giver. You get a little bit of the company’s story and a card filled out with the information on your product. All in a heavy weight box with tasteful printing on the outside that gives you the first impression that Quality is on the inside. That first impression is right.

box1box2Overall Construction Fit and Finish

Galen Leather uses thick leather, really thick. I was surprised that even as thick as it is it’s not stiff or rough. This is not a minimalist notebook cover, you know what your holding is built to last. The finish is beautifully uniform, the stitching is even and matches the strength you feel in the overall notebook. Burnished edges give a very finished look to the cover.

edge1edge2stitichingIn use

The Galen Leather website gives some great examples of what they were thinking when they were designing the cover. Inside pockets are well designed and functionally placed to store business cards, other small notebooks or just scraps of notes that usually get accumulated with daily use. Even the iPad mini or similar sized devices are figured into the design. The pen loop is nice and stretchy to hold big pens if that’s your fancy and I like the big pens.

inside1inside leftinside rightThe belly band is a vertical orientation in a complimenting color and quite stretchy. On the inside it goes through the back cover of your A5 sized notebook of your choice. I’m using it with my current daily journal by Shinola. The other side of the band can be used to stretch over the front and keep the notebook safely closed during travels. As mentioned above the heft of this notebook could survive a lot of traveling around while protecting the inside. I don’t use the band to keep the cover shut so I enjoy the full beauty of the leather cover sitting on my desk.

backI did find the wide spine a little unusual at first but now I think I have picked up on a great design feature. Looking at the cover it’s 6.7” x 9.1”. Not a lot of extra space on the height but the width really gives you room for other paper and notebooks you may like to carry or a big pen will ride easily in the large spine area. Most of the other notebook covers I own fit the traditional A5 size almost perfectly and that’s fine but it limits other things you might find yourself carrying outside your notebook. The Galen Leather just has more capacity, even some examples on their website with a tablet.

Conclusion

I like it, I really like it. I have been using it mated up to my daily journal and slowly finding other things to carry along with it. The construction gives a rich look and I’m sure a long useful life.

Visit Galen Leather and see their whole product line, I don’t think you will be disappointed with any of their products.

Other blogger Reviews

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Visconti 3 Pen Case Review

A pen hobby can only be enjoyed if you have pens with you. Depending on your activities during waking hours many of us will have different needs for pen carry. This could be a shirt pocket, pants pocket, bag or purse or any number of options for a single pen. Being pen nuts most of us carry more than 1 pen so besides integrated pen sleeves in a briefcase or bag the pen case business is growing with many options for us.

I have eyed the Visconti line of cases for several years now but never pulled the trigger. I recall once even adding it to my online cart but before checkout something else got priority funding and I went without this Italian version of a classy carry.

Recently The Pen Company sent over a 3 pen version for me to try out. Now my daily commute is quite utilitarian so my pen carrying needs have been adequately cared for with an open pen case that my sister made me some time ago. I go from my house to the car, drive to my office and have very few needs to leave the office until the end of my work day

I have been carrying the Visconti case now for a few weeks and I have really grown to like it.

Front

  • Available in Black, Black or Black
  • Available in 1, 2, 3 or 6 pen capacity models
  • $73 (3 pen model)
  • 2 7/8” wide
  • 6 3/8” long
  • 1 1/8” thick

My Shawn Newton Shinobi, Visconti Home Sapien Maxi and Visconti Divina, all larger pens, are currently in residency. The Shinobi is probably the biggest pen I would carry in it. Coming in right at 6”, I consider it a big pen. I think you get a tiny bit more room from the middle slot due to the slight corner curves in the body of the case. The Shinobi will fit in all three slots but I reserve the middle slot for it. Toothpick not included.

Hood Open Space AvailableConstruction Fit and Finish

Visconti never disappoints here. A smooth black leather outside with a tight black felt on the inside for all surfaces that touch your pens. The interior has three slots with two full height dividers that keep all three pens away from each other. The clip on your pen is not utilized for the encasement..

InsideA chrome zipper pull, chrome V medallion on the front and the Visconti logo embossed on the back of the case wrap up a very attractive package for work or play. Tasteful without being in your face gaudy.

SIde Front2 Back LogoIn Use

The zipper is smooth and extends about 2/3rds of the way down both long sides and across the top. Fully unzipped your access to the pens is easy without requiring any balancing act to prevent any of the pens from falling out.

The opening is the coolest part to me. Visconti has creased the front cover somehow to make a natural bend point in the case and it opens almost like a car hood. After opening the hood the pens are easy to remove and even easier to put back in. Here again the 6” Shinobi is probably the maximum you want in here. 6 1/8” would probably fit but the removal is going to get slowed down with anything over 6” as the pen needs to be angled slightly to get it out.

Hood Open2Conclusion

Many thanks to The Pen Company for sending this great case over for review. I will probably own a 6 pen version one day as I find myself wanting more than 3 pens inked up at a time. I lasted a month carrying a single pen but I find more enjoyment throughout the day with a variety.

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Kaweco Classic Sport Ballpoint Guilloche Review

I ended up with two similar Kaweco pocket pens about the same time. A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the The Classic Sport Gel Roller in Black Chess Pattern so I won’t bore you by repeating much of what I’ve penned in the past about the Kaweco Sport line and I will spare you the duplication on my commonly written philosophy on the pocket pen genre. Most all of it was summarized in my review of the Gel Roller.

Today I want to share with you about my time with the The Classic Sport Ball Pen in Black Guilloche  Overall5 Length: 4.15″
Weight: .4 oz
Uses D1 Size Refills

APPEARANCE

The Guilloche variant features a black octagonal barrel with a subtle guilloche engraved effect and gold colored metal decal on the push button. Manufactured from ABS or sometimes called macrolon plastic, the guilloche is small, light and attractive.

Overall3 Overall4 End Cap2 Tip3Black pens are hard for me to photograph well but in the pictures I hope you can appreciate the creative design Kaweco has added to this one.

ERGONOMICS

The Guilloche is a close cousin to an Ice Sport I have carried and abused for several years. So no get familiar time was needed for me.

Where the ballpoint excels over the gel roller in my mind is speed to deploy. The knock push button is one handed and just faster than two hands needed to remove a cap.

The downside is there is no cap to post. The cap of the gel writer makes it a more comfortable pen to write with, you just can’t pull that feat off with the ballpoint design. Where the ballpoint shines is convenience. Receipts or signatures are a quick and efficient execution, unpocket, click, sign, click, repocket, done.

REFILL

Apart1The D1 refill scared me at first as there is an obvious trade off with size and ink capacity but there is a bigger variety of D1 refills than I expected. With these manufacturers producing the D1 size I’m sure you can find something you like.

    • Retro 51
    • Monteverde
    • Uniball Jetstream
    • Zebra
    • Pilot
    • Staedtler
    • Kaweco
    • Platinum
    • Ohto
    • Pentel
    • Tombow

I don’t worry about proprietary refills with the Kaweco. The Soul 1.0 that ships with the pen is worthy performer or if you prefer another here is a review I did on a wide variety of these D1 refills. I found a favorite.

CONCLUSION

The two newest Kaweco Sports to my collection are a really hard toss up on which to carry. I really like the quick deploy of the knock push button on the ballpoint but the writing comfort (posted) and Parker refill of the gel writer makes for a nicer writing experience. Either one you pick, or both, I think you will enjoy the Kaweco quality and know it’s going to work for you every time you call it to action.

Remember: Write something nice……

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Kaweco Sport Chess Gel Roller Review

Like most everyday carry items the best one is always the one you have with you. I have reviewed, carried and maintain a collection of about 30 pens that I would consider pocket size. 5 of these 30 are in the Kaweco Sport line.

Overall CappedKaweco Classic Sport Chess Gel Roller Black

The Classic Sport line is based on a design dating back to 1935. The fountain pen is probably the most popular model followed by the click ballpoint and the parker size refill gel roller I’m reviewing today. Made from ABS macrolon plastic, this pen comes in comfortably as a pocket size variant pen but when posted it’s a comfortable handling length for anything but the longest of writing sessions.

  • Length capped: 4 1/8”
  • Length uncapped: 3 15/16” with refill
  • Length posted: 5 ¼”
  • Weight with refill: 11.4 grams

APPEARANCE

Where the Ice Sport and other finishes in the Sport line would be considered a fun look, I would suggest the black CHESS version gives a slightly more upscale look to the pen. On 4 sides of the signature 8 sided cap there is a nice checkered pattern that you can see and feel in the material. I suspect it’s mainly for looks and it succeeds very well.

Overall UncappedThe cap is topped with the traditional gold cap of the Kaweco brand and sets off the rest of the pen quite nicely. At the tail of the body is a very small ridged tail piece. Nice aesthetic touch but I’m not sure if there is a functional purpose for it. The only thing I could think of is maybe to help with retention of the posted cap.

CapCONSTRUCTION

Fit and finish on the pen is top notch, as we have come to expect from Kaweco. They execute well on what can be a challenge of mass producing a nice looking and attractive designed pen for under $30.

The engineered size of the Gel Writer impressed me. The body of the pen, sans refill, is actually shorter than a parker refill. You can’t get more compact than that and still use your favorite refill!

Refill2ERGONOMICS

The Sport Gel Roller has a screw on cap that requires a small ¾ of a turn to uncap and recaps in 1 turn. The threads on the body of the pen look deceiving and I was expecting a longer twist on and twist off so there is some cool thread magic going on in the cap that I would never be able to explain. It works. The difference in rotations probably has to do with the positioning that my test just happened to choose in relation to engaging a lead thread to start the engagement. With some experimenting I could get it to full close in ¾ of a turn but in practical use a full turn is very acceptable in regards to deployment and return to pocket speed.

The section is a slight concave which helps with the finger resting and unposted the pen writes fine but for my larger hands anything more than my signature on a receipt I’ll be posting the cap. With the cap posted I find the overall length of 5 ¼” very easy to handle and comfortable for most writing tasks. The cap is a push on posting style with good retention and no wiggles.

Section

Overall Length Posted

Here it is posted next to my Karas Kustoms EDK, another standard in the EDC pen genre.Compared to Karas Kustoms EDKREFILL

Best news of the whole pen: it accepts parker style refills. What that means to the owner is probably the widest selection of refills available for any style pen. The Kaweco refill that is included with the pen is very good. I will probably leave it in there though my replacement preferences lean towards the Schmidt line. Nobody has done a better refill guide for the parker style than Ana over at The Well Appointed Desk. Check out The epic refill reference guide or there is probably a good chance if you’re reading this you already have a drawer full of old refills collected in your hunt for the perfect one for you.

CONCLUSION

The Sport Gel Writer is not the fanciest, most exotic, most expensive or technologically advanced pocket pen I own but it has quickly become an MVP for pocket wear when I’m loading up each morning for the dangers and perils of suburbia. With the parker refill, the plastic construction that is safe to other, more expensive, toys in my pocket and at $30 I don’t worry too much about it. It deploys easily, writes every time and disappears back into my pocket with ease. One can’t ask for much more from a mini pocket pen.
I know I talk a lot about pocket pens so have you come up with anything new lately?

Remember: Write something nice……

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One Pen Challenge

img_3645When I returned from the Atlanta Pen Show I was a good pen steward and immediately flushed my pre Atlanta pen rotation. I put those pens back into storage as I knew I would be using my new purchases. I settled back into normal pen life and decided 2 of my new pens needed to go back for work. One was a manufacturer defect and the other was a chance I took on a vintage pen and was unskilled at checking it out.

In my hotel room the Saturday night of the show I tried all of the pens with the hopes if something was wrong I could go back Sunday morning for a possible fix. Neither of the problems appeared but maybe my adrenaline and excitement just made them write better.

The vintage is going to my favorite pen repair guy Danny Fudge at TheWritePen.net. He always delivers so no worries there. The other pen is going back to the distributor and possibly overseas to the factory so besides the wait I’m sure it will come back good as new and I can’t want as it was a beautiful writer. I’m a little bummed about it but not all that surprised since several of my past pen purchases have resulted in returns to have something fixed. I have always been happy at the end but the delay to utopia writing is sometimes disappointing.

What this has caused me to do is move to a single inked pen in my daily carry. Above is my daily pen carry case. My dear sister made this case for me after she and I thought through the design together. It’s not only functional for me but carries a great deal of sentimental value. What you see peeking out is my Shawn Newton Shinobi.

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For the past week that has been my only Fountain pen and we’re really bonding after a lot of use. It’s different for me to not pause for that micro second each time I need to write something at my desk and think about which pen I want to use. Sometimes the decision would be based on ink color, nib width for small spaces or just I like that pen right now and I want to write with it. My Shinobi is a broad nib so small medical forms are out, of no fault of the pen but for everything else it’s been fun, grab one pen sitting on the desk, it’s always there in the same place and writes every time. We’re getting to be really good friends.

I look forward to my new two coming back and I’m sure they are going to be as great as I had hoped for. I’m considering carrying each of them as my only fountain pen for a period of time and maybe nurture a similar the bond I’ve experienced with the Shinobi.

How about you, have you ever carried just one inked up fountain to use for everything?

Remember: Write something nice……

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Atlanta Pen Show Recap

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The clothes washer is full, car needs an oil change and my bank account is flying a bit leaner. Yep, the Atlanta Pen show is over. This was the second year that I dragged my wonderful wife up with me and though we were more prepared than last year we didn’t get bogged down with following any sort of script. If you went I hope I didn’t scoop any pens out from under you. If you didn’t go and have resources or distance advantage to go to another show I can’t recommend it enough. Here is our experience from a great trip.

Our drive up Friday from Tampa was uneventful and our only stops were lunch and the Going Gear shop that was about 6 miles from the hotel. I have shopped with them online for a while and if you’re into other pocket toys such as flashlights and pocket knives they are definitely worth a stop while in the area. Their flashlight display is the best I have ever seen in person. Hotel check in was fine and Longhorn served us a great steak for dinner.

We started off Saturday morning across the street at the golden arches because the Waffle House was still full of PenAddict Posse passed out from too much ink on their pancakes and pulling an all-nighter, sorry we missed it.

Name tags are great, we spotted Lisa Vanness in line so we tried out this community thing and I walked up and bought her teams’ breakfast. She was a little taken back but then I explained my motivations and it was like we were old friends. Granted it wasn’t a big spend for me but the payback to me and my wife was far greater than the credit card receipt. And yes I bought a pen from her later!

Back to the hotel and we got downstairs around 9:45 where the show was already alive and they let us in a bit early. My first task was to find Shawn Newton before he sold out of everything. We spotted him in room 1 and I think I pulled my wife’s arm slightly out of joint with the nudge. Shawn was a real joy to speak with. He had a good selection left and I walked away with a beautiful yellow and black swirl Shinobi. It’s bigger overall than I expected but what a great writer and I’m a big pen guy. Shawn swapped in a broad nib for me which is perfectly tuned.

From there we started a tour of the tables just to get a feel for whole show. Rounding turn 3 at a trot Crazy Alan’s Emporium hit me up for one of the new 2016 LE Lilac Safari. I bit and Alan dropped in a broad nib for me. Nice $30 writer that I’m very pleased with.

After a couple of rounds I decided on a Franklin-Christoph. I sat down at the table to try some of the more creative nibs and ended up as plain as my wardrobe with a broad. I chose a model 2 with the ice frost finish and a red cap. Jim polished up the broad very smooth for me and even let me pick the color ink. Great experience and a supreme writer.

Now it was on to the Vanness table where Lisa fixed me up with a Sheaffer NOS pen with what she called a sharpie broad. I don’t even know the model of the pen but it is FUN to write with.

At the Nock table it was great to chat with Brad, Jeff, Myke and Ana over multiple passes throughout the day. They got stamina. I picked up a variety of Nock goodies, most everything I that I didn’t have already. Still don’t know what I should do with the key dangler but hey I got one!

We’re old so after lunch it was a short power nap then tried a local seafood restaurant that had good reviews but with waits reaching an hour at 4:30 pm we passed and found a burger joint.

Closing out the day we sat and listened to the PenAddict podcast live from the hotel room. My timing was a bit off to catch a seat in the live audience but that sounded like fun.

Sunday morning we hit the road about 8:30 in the morning and 7 ½ hours later rolled into our driveway in Florida. Good safe trip.

I’m an introvert when he comes to crowds. I don’t mind crowds but it’s hard for me to just walk up and talk to people. This show, and probably the pen community as a whole, helps me get past that. Everyone I talked too was so friendly, dealers, vintage, new, custom makers, it didn’t matter. Shout out to my friend Joe, The Definitive Gentleman Stationery. So happy to have crossed paths with him and chat a few.

We are considering the DC show this year but for sure next year Atlanta will be a do not miss for us.

I would love to hear about your time at Atlanta or any pen show. Any questions that I can answer for you as a show newbie myself I would be glad to answer and help you get to your first show.

Remember: Write something nice……

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